IIPM Admission

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The hunt for hostel and paying guest (PG) accommodation for students

IIPM BBA MBA Institute: Student Notice Board

Finding appropriate accommodation in a new city isn't always easy for out-of-town students but getting it right is half the battle won

It is that time of the year again. Admissions are on in full swing. Most colleges and institutes in India are all set to welcome a new batch of students. From the latter's point of view, the process is fraught with a mix of hope and anxiety. What will life on the campus be like? How will the new classmates be? Questions galore, but for out-of-towners, it is the hunt for hostels and paying guest (PG) accommodation that is of primary concern.

As students outnumber rooms available in college hostels, outstation students opt for private hostels and PG units. Another big draw: these facilities do not impose strict deadlines and generally tend to provide superior services.

Finding an accommodation might not seem as tough as landing a seat in Delhi University but it is still a daunting task. This year DU hostels have a limited number of seats available as most of the units are undergoing an overhaul to receive tourists for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. So locating a room that is light on the pocket and not too far from the college might take some doing. But there is always hope.

For students studying in DU's north campus, there are plenty of options. Around 100 paying guest accommodations and independent rented rooms are available in Kamla Nagar, Vijay Nagar, Roop Nagar, Kingsway Camp, Model Town, Maurice Nagar and Hudson Lane. If you choose to stay on Mall Road, you may have to shell out something between Rs 6,500 to Rs 12,000 per month depending on the facilities that you avail.

Accommodation in Vijay Nagar and Hudson Lane costs anything between Rs 3000 and Rs 5,500 a month. The rate of PGs in Roop Nagar and Mukherjee Nagar varies from Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 for AC rooms and Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 for non-AC rooms.

Aanchal PG accommodation in Roop Nagar, Shanti Niketan Hostel and Sahni's Hostel at Timarpur and Aparna Girls' Hostel in Kamla Nagar are some famous names. Most hostels provide basic facilities along with a library, gym, and a recreation room. 'The rented rooms range from Rs 4000-Rs 6000 and PG facilities cost Rs 5,000 per person on twin sharing basis. The rate covers facilities like a chair and table, TV, cooler, common bathrooms and dining rooms, but one has to pay Rs 1,000 more for food,' says Rohit Chahal, state joint secretary, ABVP, and a student of MA, Buddhist Studies, in the Faculty of Arts, Delhi University. 'Girl students willing to spend a little more can also opt for Manik Niwas, a girls-only PG accommodation. Built two years back, it is located in Kamla Nagar. 'We have 20 air-conditioned fully-furnished and wi-fi enabled rooms. We provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, evening tea and snacks and a common reading room,' says 30-year-old JP Singh, the owner. Singh owns another PG unit for girls, Simran Niwas, situated in Jawahar Nagar. In both places rooms are available at Rs 8,000 per month on twin sharing basis. Safety is of utmost importance for girl students staying away from home. 'We have installed CCTV cameras in our building and security is available 24X7. Also, we do not allow girls in after 9 pm,' adds JP Singh.

As there are only three University hostels in the south campus, PG options are available in areas like South Extension, Greater Kailash and Sarojini Nagar. Of late, Satya Niketan has emerged as a hotspot for PG units and is very popular among students from the Northeast. These localities offer accommodation ranging from Rs 3000 to Rs 8000 a month.

PG units and rooms on rent are also available in east Delhi and these are much cheaper. Single rooms in Laxmi Nagar, Shakarpur, Mayur Vihar-I and Patparganj are available for as little as Rs 3,500 or 4,000 a month. The owners provide students with a host of facilities ' from daily meals to 24-hour power back-up.

Pune, too, has emerged as an education hub and is a hot favourite with the student community. The city also pulls in students from abroad. If you are looking for PGs in Pune, you can choose from areas like University Road, Shivajinagar, Sadashiv Peth, Karve Nagar, Koregaon Park, Erandawane and Viman Nagar. If you stay in Fergusson College Road or Deccan Gymkhana, the monthly rates per person range from Rs 2500-Rs 3000, in Model Colony the range is Rs 3000-Rs 5000 and on Law College Road PGs cost Rs 3000-Rs 6000.

Most students do not opt for college hostels because of the high fees and also because preference is given to NRIs and foreign students. Sanjivani Thakur, a former student at Symbiosis, shares her experience, 'I stayed in a PG called Shantiniketan on Senapati Bapat Road as our college hostel was expensive. We were eight girls staying together in a two-room apartment. We had four cots in one room, a steel cupboard and one table and chair. We paid Rs 4,000 per month and extra for electricity that was shared by all of us. We had to pay six months' rent in advance and we availed tiffin service from outside.' But Sanjivani had a bitter experience staying there as her landlady was very dominant and the lack of security led to some unpleasant incidents.

Renting flats in Pune might not be a favourable option. For 1BHK you have to pay Rs 8000 to 10000, for 2BHK Rs 9000-12,000 and for 3BHK the price varies from Rs 12,500-Rs 15,000. A furnished flat might cost you around Rs 20,000.

Bangalore is home to prestigious institutions such as IISc and IIM. Excellent climate, a charming ambience and wide-ranging facilities for leisure activities are the other advantages the city offers. Students who prefer a PG unit over a college hostel can look for options in areas like Kammanahalli, CV Raman Nagar, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Indiranagar and Adugodi. Koramangala, although a little expensive, is favoured by many. Priyanka Sen went to Bangalore to study at the Christ University, located on Hosur Road, which is adjacent to Koramangala. She stayed at a girls' PG named Aishwarya near her college. 'My PG is well-known and accommodates girls only from Christ University. The timings were pretty lenient and a security guard was always present in front of our building.' But her stay cost her lot. 'For a bedroom shared by four, I paid Rs 4,700 per month. It included the facilities of a washing machine, a microwave and a fridge along with two meals a day,' says Priyanka.

Preeti, another student of Christ University, opted for the college hostel because it was a new, spacious and clean building. But she was soon disappointed as she had to go without the promised kitchenette facilities and even had to forgo hot water in the winters!

'During my one year in the hostel, every single month I had to see a doctor for some illness or the other. Also, with the lack of cooking facilities, my eating habits became terribly unhealthy, and expenses soared too,' says Preeti. Ultimately, she chose to rent an apartment along with a friend as she was shocked to see the condition of some PGs. Although PGs would cost around Rs 6,000-Rs 7,000 for small tiny rooms, Preeti spent Rs 4,000 every month for the rented place, including electricity, food and Internet.

In Koramangala, one can stay at Aruna Paying Guest that offers one room with attached bathroom on sharing basis at Rs 2500 a month but one has to make one's arrangements for food. One also needs to deposit Rs 10,000 as security money. The other PG unit for girls is Tara Manjunatha Girls Hostel in Yelahanka Bazaar.

Bhubaneswar is another city that is fast emerging as an education hub. There are more than 50 engineering colleges and management institutions here. Most students depend upon college hostels or private facilities. Students residing in private hostels have to shell out Rs 1000-Rs 1500 per bed per month and make their own arrangements for food. The college hostels charge Rs 1500-Rs 3000, including water and electricity. An AC room can cost Rs 7000-Rs 8500 per student. Hostels here are, as a rule, situated near the institutes that they cater to.

In Bhubaneswar, girls and boys can stay in PGs in Laxmi Sagar and Rasulgada respectively. Laxmi Sagar area is near the Bhubaneswar main railway station. They provide all facilities, food, security, water and electricity at prices starting from just Rs. 1100 per bed. A five-minute walk from Infocity, IT Park, Patia, there are fully-furnished boys' hostels that also provide mess, laundry, parking and security. Sailashree Vihar and Ravi Talkies Square are other places where you can rent a room.

In Chennai, the educational centre of South India, many private colleges are located on the outskirts of the city. Therefore, areas like Porur, Poonamallee, Tambaram, Pallavaram, Chromepet, Kattankulathur and Guduvanchery are swarming with students. Like in other cities, students prefer PGs.

However, Muhammed Yasin, a second year MBBS student at SRM Medical College, Kattankulathur, resides in his college hostel as he likes to stay with fellow students. He pays Rs 65,000 per annum, including food and room rent. For AC rooms, the fee is Rs 95,000 a year.

There are around 2000 private hostels in and around Chennai where students and working women stay. It includes only accommodation and no food. Amoz Raj, warden of Holy Angels Hostel in Zamin Pallavaram, a Chennai suburb, says, 'Our hostel has 26 girls. Many are from north India. We charge Rs 3000, including room rent and food, and also provide facilities as per their needs.' For electricity, an additional Rs 3000 is charged.

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